GREEN BAY — Mike McCarthy said he had no clue what he was going to tell his players when he saw them Monday following an embarrassing 20-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. As it turns out, he won’t have to worry about it.
After nearly 13 seasons as the Green Bay Packers head coach, McCarthy was fired following the game that dropped his team to 4-7-1 and its playoff hopes all but extinguished.
“The 2018 season has not lived up to the expectations and standards of the Green Bay Packers,” team President Mark Murphy stated in a team release. “As a result, I made the difficult decision to relieve Mike McCarthy of his role as head coach, effective immediately.”
According to ESPN’s Adam Shefter, McCarthy was shocked at the timing with four games still left in the season. He becomes the first Packers coach since Gene Ronzani in 1952 not to finish a season he started. Ronzani “resigned” after his team started 2-6-1.
The decision, according to the MMQB’s Albert Breer, was made by Murphy in tandem with general manager Brian Gutekunst. Following an offseason restructuring that saw Gutekunst take over for Ted Thompson, Murphy also took the power of hiring and firing a head coach under his discretion.
Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer spoke with McCarthy following the move.
“I’m proud I was part of the Packers family, proud to be part of such a great organization,” Glazer tweeted.
McCarthy’s tenure comes to close after 204 regular season games and 125 wins. He had just three losing seasons during his time and won six NFC North titles. McCarthy led the Packers to the playoffs nine times, appeared in four NFC title games and won Super Bowl XLV. That put him in rare company, joining Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren as the only coaches to win a Super Bowl with the Packers.
But ever since quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a broken collarbone in Week 6 of the 2017 season, not a lot had gone right for McCarthy and Green Bay. After finishing 7-9 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008, McCarthy fired his offensive and defensive coordinators and replaced several more staff members. But little has changed even with Rodgers playing the entire season, albeit with a knee injury. Right now, the Packers have their worst record at this point in the season since McCarthy’s first year in 2006.
“Mike has been a terrific head coach and leader of the Packers for 13 seasons, during which time we experienced a great deal of success on and off the field,” Murphy said. “We want to thank Mike, his wife, Jessica, and the rest of the McCarthy family for all that they have done for the Packers and the Green Bay and Wisconsin communities.”
Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin will serve as the interim head coach for the final four games, but Murphy is already focusing on what’s next in Titletown.
“We will immediately begin the process of selecting the next head coach of the Green Bay Packers,” Murphy said.